Welcome to NLMS Music Summer School at Downe House School

A music summer school for adult amateur players and singers, with two orchestras, choir, string group, brass ensemble and – new for 2022 – a percussion course.


UPDATE MAY 2022 – Just a few places remain for upper strings, bassoon, french horn, tuba, percussion and tenor and bass voices.

After missing our usual enjoyable music-making in 2020 and 2021, we are delighted that Downe House School has agreed to host the 2022 NLMS Music Summer School. If you have attended before, you will know what an ideal venue it is, and we are greatly looking forward to returning next summer for another week of music-making and friendship. 

In 2022, the dates are necessarily a slightly different pattern, fitting into a window in Downe House School’s other summer bookings. The summer school will start on the afternoon of Monday 8 August and finish with lunch on Sunday 14 August. To reflect that this is about half a day shorter than usual, fees are reduced from 2019 levels.

In 2019 the summer school was a huge success, with excellent attendance at a superb new venue, and great music-making by all the ensembles and friendly support from our amazing team of tutors. We believe that our summer school is the premium offering in the market! Of the 80% of people who responded to our feedback survey in 2019:

  • 100% would recommend the summer school,
  • 97% planned to come again the following year,
  • 95% said the course is good or excellent value for money.

In 2022 we are excited to be welcoming back Steve Bingham as Director and CEO, following Nicola Wydenbach’s decision to stand down after an exceptionally difficult year in the most trying of circumstances. We thank Nicola for what she achieved despite the worst of the pandemic, and we wish her well for the future.

In 2022, we also welcome Dan Watson as conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Hogan as conductor of the Sinfonietta.


Main house block

Downe House School is a girls’ boarding school and an ideal venue for our music summer school.  Music accommodation is plentiful, the residential accommodation comprises single and double rooms, all with wash basins, catering is of a very high quality, and the buildings are accessible and close together, with parking nearby.  Situated only a few miles from the M4 and A34, and from Newbury station, the school has excellent transport links. Extensive and beautiful grounds as well as a swimming pool complement the facilities available to course members.  And of course we will be setting up our usual bar!  Overall, Downe House School is a wonderful venue for enjoying friendship in music.


NLMS offers a challenging and enjoyable week of music making in a very friendly atmosphere.  Two orchestras, a choir, a brass ensemble and a string group provide a wide variety of courses to suit all abilities and interests.  New in 2022 is a percussion course.

A feature of NLMS Music Summer School is the very high ratio of tutors to participants, with a professional tutor for each instrumental and vocal section.  All courses enjoy wide-ranging and exciting repertoire – the same as was planned for last year’s summer school.

There will also be a range of open sessions run by members of the tutoring team, plus informal sessions which are member-led – including the return of Open Light Music. 

Concerts take place on many of the evenings, given both by participants and professionals.


We aim to provide enjoyment through music-making and, while we achieve high standards of performance, this is never at the expense of friendliness and good humour. I hope to see you at Downe House in August 2022 and, whether you are a regular attender or a new member, you can be assured of a warm welcome.

Steve Bingham
NLMS Music Summer School Director

Video © Rhodri Spearing

NLMS is the trading name of New London Music Association (NLMA) – Charity number 1179200.


See what makes NLMS Music Summer Schools so highly regarded by participants…

“A high spot of our year. Many thanks for providing such a super musical experience.”

“This week was close to being perfect for me.”

“Not only musically helpful but friendly. I look forward to next year.”

“A wonderful week of hard, fulfilling study and practice.” 

“A very good social opportunity to meet and make new friends.”

“The venue, organisation, facilities and camaraderie have been 1st rate.”

“I had such a good time. Music-making is so exciting!”

“This course kept me smiling for weeks.”


>> Explore Downe House School

Explore the courses available, including details of repertoire…

>> Symphony Orchestra

>> Sinfonietta

>> Choir

>> Brass Ensemble

>> Percussion

>> String Group


Whether you are one of our many frequent returners, or thinking about coming for the first time, at NLMS Music Summer School you will enjoy a wealth of music making activities, professional tuition in an encouraging and supportive atmosphere, with excellent food, convivial social activities, beautiful surroundings and lots more besides. Applications are now open – we’re looking forward to receiving yours!

>> Apply Now!